Genesis 35 8-22
But Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth. And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel. And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day. And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine.
Lots of verses this morning, beloved. But I trust that the word I bring to you will minister peace and comfort. Jesus said, “be of good cheer, in this world you shall have tribulation.” Cheer and tribulation? That is the essence of our devotional this morning. God’s grace through The Lord Jesus Christ has not yet fully rescued us from the miseries of sin and death.
It is striking how God’s promises of blessing to Jacob come in the midst of weeping by the graves of three beloved family members, plus grieving over the sin of children. Grace and tears mingle together in this life. But in the midst of our tears, are the exceeding great and precious promises of God.
God remains our Jehovah Jireh, our all sufficient provider in the midst of lives tears, sorrows and disappointments. Jacob built an altar to worship God in the midst of his sorrows and pain. We were created and redeemed to worship God. We sorrow not as others who have no hope. Grace does not remove the consequences and sorrow of sin, it provides for us the promise of a heavenly hope which fades not away. May the presence and promises of Christ give you comfort and strength today, beloved.